Researchers in the UK say they may have discovered a miniature device that was used to seed life on Earth.

Analyzing samples taken from the stratosphere by a high-altitude balloon, researchers from the University of Buckingham discovered a tiny metallic sphere imbedded in the sampler. Astrobiologist Milton Wainwright describes the object: "It is a ball about the width of a human hair, which has filamentous life on the outside and a gooey biological material oozing from its center." The object was found cratered within the sampling container, implying that it had hit the collector at high speed, rather than just floating in the air with the rest of the particles collected.

"One theory is it was sent to Earth by some unknown civilization in order to continue seeding the planet with life," continues Wainwright, "This seeming piece of science fiction — called ‘directed panspermia’ — would probably not be taken seriously by any scientist were it not for the fact that it was very seriously suggested by the Nobel Prize winner of DNA fame, Francis Crick." Directed panspermia is the theory that an extraterrestrial civilization deliberately transmitted organisms to Earth to seed the planet with life.

Professor Milton Wainwright speculates “that in its space environment this ‘ghost particle’ is a living balloon which an alien microscopic organism might inflate with lighter than air gasses”, and says that the particles “are like nothing previously found on Earth.” Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe says: “It lends very strong support to the theory of cometary panspermia”.